Thirty year rule of plagiarism?, 19 July 2010
By Rerevisionist (Manchester, England)
This review is from: The Making of the Atomic Bomb (Paperback)
I haven't read this book but award it two stars on the following basis...
... As you get older you notice patterns which a more restricted time window tend to hide. One such is an approximate thirty years rule in publishing. The trick is to look back something like thirty years and see which books were then big sellers. With luck the same material can be recycled - with the bonus that 'research' need only be minimal. Copyright doesn't seem to apply to ideas - only to the actual form of words. Based on the reviews here (and the USA), I'm pretty confident this book is a rehash of Jungk's 1956 book 'Brighter than a Thousand Suns', probably supplemented by some new material from (e.g.) obituaries of scientists, bombers etc. There are numerous question marks over nuclear weapons, and immense secrecy - and a journalist is unfitted to tease them out.
I haven't bothered with this book, for the reasons here, though I did read the Amazoners comments. I gave it two stars on Amazon - though I got quite a few thumbs downs. All publishers now (and film makers, and record companies, and journals/magazines) look at back numbers and aim for updates, if they think there's a market. The author is a hack journalist and it's not credible to me he'd be able to criticise the physics authoritatively.